Trends in Craft Beer: Label Finishes and Embellishments

Who knew back in the 1960s when passionate small-scale producers started brewing that craft beer would account for nearly 30% of beer sales? Indeed, it’s a very good time to be a craft brewery. After a concerning dip over the pandemic, when bars and restaurants were temporarily shuttered, craft beer trends are back with a bang. In fact, in the US at least, craft’s growth numbers are outpacing that of the entire rest of the beer industry.

What do we think of when we think of craft? Well…it’s all in the name, isn’t it? This is beer made with the care, quality, and attention to detail of genuine artisanship. That’s why branding for craft beer has become increasingly elevated. The quality of the product and the crowding of the market both demand it.

A key part of that elevated branding is a label with a dose of something different. Enter finishes and embellishments. These are the special touches that take an otherwise generic label and make it something that can spark the interest of a discerning craft beer drinker.

Here are some craft beer trends in label embellishments and finishes that are worth considering. (And we’re proud to say that all the craft beer brands pictured below printed their labels with us!)

Gloss Lamination


That’s right; you guessed it! When you apply gloss lamination to a label, you give it a high gloss finish that catches the light as well as your consumer’s eye. A lamination like this also makes the label thicker, giving it a premium feel. Did you know that the way your label feels has a big impact on whether a consumer will assess it as high-end or not?

Our work with Red Truck Beer Company on their Baja Light Beer is a great example of gloss lamination. Red Truck’s bold brand colours truly pop with the shine on the label.

Matte Lamination


Matte lamination, like gloss lamination, changes the look and feel of a label. Matte, of course, is minimally shiny, and looks more “natural”. It’s also less popular than gloss lamination, so it might garner more attention for looking unique.

Our label for A-Frame Brewing Co.’s Okanagan Lake Cream Ale demonstrates the understated elegance of the matte look. The dark-labelled can pick up light, but only subtly.

Spot UV


Spot UV means applying a shiny finish to specific parts of a label to give it more dimensionality. It’s an economical way to make your product feel and look more elegant.

The label we made for Russell Brewing Co.’s Belgian Dubbel is pure space-age fun, with its neon-coloured illustrations. So, what gives the neon that undeniable punch? Just a little spot UV finish, naturally.

Foil Stamp


Embossing your label is an eye-catching way to give it texture and depth. Also, by adding metallic foil on a label, you evoke a sumptuous, elegant look.

Our client, Four Winds Brewing Co., is a perfect example of a fresh new brand that loves to adorn itself in Old World aesthetics. The foil stamping on their Operis label lets you know that you’re about to drink a treasure.

These are today’s beer trends … who knows what innovations are around the corner? In an industry as expansive and creative as craft beer, it pays to be ahead of the curve.

Questions? Please reach out. We love to talk ideas.

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